Danza , by Street Boss, out of a French Deputy mare, stunned the horse racing world with a 41/1 win in today’s $1,000,000, GI Arkansas Derby,at 1 1/8 mile, for 3yo’s only, over a fast Oaklawn main track, winning by a convincing 4 3/4 lengths.
Ride On Curlin , finished 2nd was back those 4 3/4 lengths and 3rd went to Bayern , out of the Baffert barn, was back another 1/2 length after being the early speed here today, with race favorite Tapiture, filling out today’s super back 2 lengths even further.
A very talented field of “9” 3yo’s is set for this year’s $1,000,000, GI Arkansas Derby, for 3yo’s, going 1 1/8 mile out on Oaklawn Park main track and will go as the last of this year’s 100 Derby Points races with a sure-fire Derby 140 gate is waiting for the winner of this final Derby Trail, 3yo test here at Oaklawn Park this season!
Bayern, at 2/1, has but 2 lifetime starts with his last out being a 15 lengths wow performance in a S/A Alw at a mile run in 1:35.3. Lots and lots of buzz here but will need a 1st or a 2nd to move on to Louisville from here. He’s Bob Baffert trained and will get a Gary Stevens ride! He pretty much is an early front ride but with just 2 races under his belt its hard to say where he’ll be early on in this one!
Strong Mandate, at 9/2, was the earlier pace setter in thatsame sloppy GII Rebel Stakes here last out fading to 4th 2 1/4 lengths off the winner. He was a good 2nd in the GIII Southwest Stakes and an equally good 3rd in the B/C Juvenile last fall and is one of the rare ones still in training from that 2yo championship tilt! Like Tapiture , he can sit early or go early!
Commissioner, at 8/1, was another early season Derby buzz horse who last 2 outs include a 6th in the GII Fountain of Youth Stakes and a 3rd in the GIII Sunland Derby but in both outings he was well off the winner! Needs points to move on but only a 1st or a 2nd will do here for him here! He comes late if he comes at all!
Conquest Titan, at 10/1, 2nd in the the GII Holy Bull Stakes by a good 5 lengths then 4th in the GII Tampa Bay Derby last out by almost 5 lengths again! He should do better at this 1 1/8 mile distance being a son of Birdstone out of a Mineshaft mare. He comes late so no early pacesetter here.
Ride On Curlin, at 12/1, had the stretch lead for a brief while in that same sloppyGII Rebel Stakes here last out but faded to 3rd but only a length off that winner! He was 3rd in the GIII Southwest Stakes here too earlier this season. He likes to near the early pace too for the most part.
Thundergram , 30/1 and Danza , 15/1, round out this 2014 edition of 9 runners but both are a cut or 2 below the rest of this field with just mdn wins to their resumes.
So, it’s on to Louisville after this one is over as the $1,000,000, GI Arkansas Derby all but closes the book on the bulk of the 2014 Derby Trail season.
Oaklawn Park looks like they’re cobbling together another great GI field with some top name older F/M’s for Friday’s $600,000, GI Apple Blossom Hcp, for the older gals, at 1 1/16 mile over the Oaklawn main, as a prelude to its big blowout weekend of graded stakes action this Saturday which includes the GI Arkansas Derby as the 2014 racing season’s Grand Finale here.
Close Hatches, is a multiple GI winner, 2nd in the B/C Ladies Classic last fall and won the GII Azeri here back on Mar. 15th in a wire to wire score in her first out of 2014!
Dreaming of Julia, has been out of racing since coming 2nd toClose Hatches in the GI Mother Goose Stakes at Belmont last June. She’s a multiple graded winner too who is always in the thick of it in all her starts!
On Fire Baby, is the defending champion back to defend her title, always in some sort of money spot at the end and is a local favor here! She was 4th last out in that same GII Azeri here last month.
Teen Pauline, winner of 3 straight stakes over the Aqueduct inner track this winter including the GII Top Flight Stakes last out. All 3 wins were wire to wire scores too!
Stanwyck, winner of the GIII Turnback Alarm Stakes at Belmont last fall before moving on to sunny southern California to run for the Zenyatta connections of John Sherriffs and the Mosses this past winter. She was 2nd in the Paseana Stakes and 3rd twice in the GII Santa Maria and GI Santa Margarita.
Pearl Turn, winner of a 2nd level Alw here last out with a very nice stalking trip, splitting horses then drawing clear to win by 5 lengths!